Tag: Magic Leap

Steampunk shooter augmented reality experience is on its way

This new mobile game will come from Magic Leap, at a time when many thought it might not arrive.

Magic Leap, an augmented reality company backed by Google, has now released a video that suggests that it will be producing a much awaited steampunk shooter game, despite the fact that it had appeared that it was withdrawing from public sight, for a while.

The company had been stepping back from public appearances for a while, leaving some to build doubts.

For example, earlier this month, the CEO of Magic Leap, Rony Abovitz, had been slated to make an appearance at TED in order to discuss the work at the augmented reality company, which is always held behind a veil of secrets, as a policy. At the last minute, Magic Leap withdrew from that and all of its other public appearances without giving any explanation for having done so. As of the time of the writing of this article, the company still hadn’t provided an explanation for its actions, but it did release the video that was supposed to have been shown at the appearance.

This video showed a steampunk shooter based mobile game that uses augmented reality as a part of its experience.

Andy Fouché, the PR head at Magic Leap, wrote that “This is a game we’re playing around the office right now (no robots were harmed in the making of this video).” That represented the most detail that the public has received about an actual project being created by Magic Leap.

This mobile game has familiar Dr. Grordbort branding, a line of guns in a kind of steampunk style, comics, and a range of other products. Dr. Grordbort was first created by a Weta Workshop artist. That workshop has been partnered with Magic Leap for some time now, and its branding also appears within the video.

The concept of this mobile gaming experience pretty much boils down to an augmented reality robot-shooter in which actual decorative guns are converted into “working” weapons in the digital reality. They are aimed at virtual enemies that appear as projections within the actual physical space around the player. The video also revealed a number of other images of the Magic Leap interface, which included a range of different floating components such as YouTube videos and Gmail icons.

Google makes huge investment in augmented reality startup

The search giant sees a big future in Magic Leap.

Google and other firms, such as KKR, Andreessen Horowitz and Legendary Entertainment, have invested in the augmented reality (AR) company Magic Leap, and the $542 million the startup recently raised in a funding round led by Google, indicates that among some of the biggest tech companies, there is a large and growing interest in firms that provide 3D wearable tech.

Magic Leap hopes to one day replace smartphone and computer screens with VR interfaces.

The Florida-based startup was established in 2011 and is developing technology that functions like virtual reality (VR) glasses. When the technology is activated, computer generated images are displayed over what the wearer would typically see.

The company’s primary aim is to develop augmented reality technology in a way that will blend real-world images with three dimensional images, instead of submersing the wearer of a VR headset in an alternate reality. The company has created digital lightfield technology, which it claims mirrors biological processes, assisting the brain in making sense of the images it sees. According to an article in the New York Times, the company’s tech projects 3D images (“light sculptures”) onto the retina of the viewer.

Augmented Reality - Big investmentIn addition, patent filings have revealed that part of Magic Leap’s technology could involve the use of cameras, ultrasonic sensors and infrared sensors, which could help the technology sense the environment around the user and recognize gestures.

That said, beyond what has been gleaned from patent filings, what the company has indicated in the blog on its official site, and speculations from experts, it is not publicly known exactly what products Magic Leap is working on or what the company has up its sleeve.

Google isn’t the only big name investing in augmented reality devices.

Back in July, Facebook, the largest social network in the world, closed a $2 billion deal for Oculus VR, a company that creates head-mounted AR goggles. Likewise, Samsung is in the process of developing its own AR device, as is Sony.

As for Google, Magic Leap is only one of the company’s investments in augmented reality technology. Google launched a do-it-yourself cardboard kits for creating VR goggles out of smartphones in June and has also demonstrated Tango, an initiative that attempts to provide mobile devices with 3D sensing and mapping capabilities. Some speculate that while Magic Leap’s technology will come to market as a wearable that the tech could also be integrated with Google Glass.